USSR

The untold history of armistice and the end of World War I

‘The best antidote to ideology is detail,’ writes Paul Mason. And the detail that’s missing this Armistice Day is that working people, when they take power into their own hands, can end whatever catastrophe is imposed on them.

Down with the Death Penalty - Julius Martov

Julius Martov's denunciations of Bolsheviks use of capital punishment in contrast to their earlier campaigns against the death penalty when they were in opposition.

Ettore Cinnella - The tragedy of the Russian Revolution: promise and default of the Left Socialist Revolutionaries in 1918.

Left SR leader Maria Spiridonova (center, wearing glasses).

The unpublished minutes of the three congresses held by the Left Socialist Revolutionaries (PLSR) in 1918 are the main source of this article. Its starting point is the crisis the old Socialist Revolutionary Party (PSR) suffered during the fall of 1917 and the rise of the Left SRs.

Class and Revolution in Ethiopia

Extracts from John Markakis and Naga Ayale's book 'Class and Revolution in Ethiopia', published in 1978, a year after Ayale was killed in one of the Derg's purges of the Ethiopian left.

DEMOCRACIA Exposes the ‘Socialism’ of Social-Imperialism

An article on the meaning of socialism from Abyot, information bulletin of the Foreign Committee of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Party, that in turn translates and summarizes an article from the EPRP’s clandestine journal Democracia. This article appears in the Feb.–March 1979 issue (Vol. 4, No. 2) of Abyot.

Notes on Soviet Attitudes to Homosexuality

Fragments of information concerning the attitudes of the Bolshevik government in its early years to homosexuality.

Better Fewer, But Better

In Lenin's final document, he laments how much of the Bolshevik state apparatus has been left over from Tsarism.

How We Should Reorganise the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection

In one of Lenin's final works, he describes the Bolshevik state apparatus as "to a considerable extent a survival of the past [which] has undergone hardly any serious change. It has only been slightly touched up on the surface, but in all other respects it is a most typical relic of our old state machine."

Alexandra Kollontai argues for sending sex workers to forced labour camps for 'labour desertion', 1921

Kollontai discusses prostitution in the USSR, stating that the short-term solution should be to place prostitutes into forced labour camps if they do not have additional regular employment. Kollontai argues against the criminalisation of selling sex as such, but takes the position that sex work is not productive labour but instead 'taking from the rations of others'. Professional prostitutes were to be treated as 'labour deserters' justifying the same treatment as 'speculators, traders and hoarders'.